House Name : Greystark Seat : Greystark Castle, located in the Lonely Hills region, right in the mid-distance between Last Hearth to the north and Dreadfort to the south. It was an old abandoned holdfast when the Greystark first took it, but over the years, repairs and developments had made it a medium-sized formidable-looking castle. Current Lord : Ivan Stark, Lord of Lonely Hills Sigil : A howling wolf, headshot only, against a white field Words : Fealty Infinitely Sworn To : House Stark Faith : The Old Gods Ancestral Weapon : Courage, a scimitar-like sword, stolen from a Dothraki warlord a long time ago by an ancient Greystark in an adventure across the sea and brought it home with him. Rumoured to be made of valyrian steel, though no current member of Greystark household for generations now has ever seen another one to be absolutely sure that Courage is made of such steel. History : History tells all that the Greystarks, an old noble blood, offshoot from Winterfell’s Starks, were completely obliterated during their attempted coup with the Boltons against their liege lord many centuries ago. The coup was thwarted, the Greystarks were uprooted from their holdfast at Wolf’s Den by Jon Stark and his army, and Dreadfort was besieged for four years before the Boltons finally succumbed and again bent the knees to the Kings in the North. But if the Boltons were granted mercy and allowed to keep their castle and demesne until present day, the Greystarks were all wiped out and their Wolf’s Den was taken over and later given to the Manderlys on what would become White Harbor. At least that’s what the maesters wrote on their history books. Towards the end of the rebellion, a sage old maester at Wolf’s Den pleaded with Jon Stark to spare the last remaining child of the Greystarks named Willam, aged ten. Maester Arthos reminded Jon that Greystark and Stark were kin, that killing kin was a capital sin in both eyes of gods and men, and that Willam was an innocent child with good nature at heart. Lessons had been taught to all would-be traitors in the North, and Willam, showing excellent aptitude in writing and numbers, would be a helpful hand at the court in Winterfell, the old master argued. Jon relented, but he would not allow a descendant of the Greystarks ever set foot in Winterfell. He instead granted an old holdfast in Lonely Hills and all the corresponding incomes in the demesne to Willam and his future Greystark descendants, and commanded the maester to be his regent until he came of age. There were terms to be strictly followed, however. The Greystarks shall never be formally recognized by other lords, big and small, in the entire realm; they shall never be allowed at court in Winterfell; though they and their subjects were allowed to trade with whomever they were pleased, they shall not attend feasts in Winterfell at the end of summer and shall never present themselves at other lords’ courts or receive other lords at their court; they shall not raise their army even if other bannermen were called by Winterfell to defend the realm, and shall not have trained soldiers unless for the purpose of town and village watches; and all the other lords in the North were instructed not to recognize them, the maesters not to write about them. In short, Willam and his descendants were allowed to live, but were not allowed to exist. Centuries and generations had passed and everybody seemed to have forgotten, or at least decided to overlook, the younger wolves in the Lonely Hills. It all changed, however, towards the end of the War of Five Kings. Syfall Greystark, Lord of Lonely Hills, on a discrete order from Ned Stark just before the liege lord made his way down south to become Hand of the King, called up his able bodied subjects from the two towns and many villages in around the hills to sharpen their swords and spears and prepared themselves at a moment’s notice when needed. Ned was vague in his instruction; he only said that Syfall shall not make a move until further instruction. Ned would then die a traitor’s death at King’s Landing, and his heir Robb shortly after, and Winterfell was sacked by the Greyjoys and then the Boltons took the seat there through his bastard’s marriage with Ned’s little girl. And through all this, Syfall remained, waiting and watching as the events unfolded : Stannis’s host was destroyed by winter; the Wall withstood the Others but the worst winter storms in decades killed many in the North; a strange girl with three dragons from a faraway land came to claim the whole realm and destroyed King’s Landing, but her dragons soon perished (one died mysteriously, some said by poison; another was killed in the battlefield after a ballista pierced its eye; and the biggest one was killed by a pack of direwolves north of the Wall) and she soon followed, after leading the biggest battle Westeros had ever seen, one that left Houses Lannister, Tyrell, and Martell virtually obliterated; and if the northerners had to gravely contend with winter storms, then the southerners died by the thousands by a multitude of plagues some said carried over from the east. Yet through all these maelstroms, Winterfell was still held by a Bolton. On the eve of spring, however, when the harshest of winter was starting to lessen, Wyman Manderly produced the true heir of Winterfell, Rickon Stark, now a teenager, along with his direwolf, Shaggydog. Along with him also came his long-presumed lost sister, Arya, and her own direwolf, Nymeria. Syfall took this as a sign, rallied his soldiers from Lonely Hills, presented himself just outside Winterfell to the other loyal lords. The Battle for Winterfell had begun; Syfall Greystak took the van, scaled the wall, and fought fiercely and valiantly, and after a four-day bloody battle, the thousands of Bolton, Frey, and Dustin men inside finally threw down their swords and the loyalists took control of the ancient castle. Roose and Ramsay Bolton, Barbrey Dustin, and all Frey lordlings were slain. At last, after a seemingly long time, there was a Stark in Winterfell. A few days later, Syfall’s oldest son and heir, Ivan, led a loyalist host east towards Dreadfort, now being held by its castellan. The castellan refused to open the gate and pledged fealty, so Ivan led his troops to storm the castle. In just a few hours the battle was over and the castle was taken. Rickon Stark was declared as King in the North, and as one of his first royal decrees as a king, he broke the norm that was set by his ancestor Jon a long time ago : he formally recognized the Greystarks of the Lonely Hills as one of his most loyal and fiercest bannermen and restored their place among all the northern lords. Today : Five years after the Battle for Winterfell, which left Syfall gravely wounded with a chest concussion (though he never showed it in public), the current lord of Lonely Hills is his eldest son and heir, Ivan Greystark. Ivan has two younger twin sisters, Amy and Ary, and one younger brother, Didot. He’s married to Alia Woolfied of Ramsgate and has two young sons, Zed and Rhae. Greystarks rule over two towns and about ninety villages all around the Lonely Hills Army : In the Battle for Winterfell, the Greystarks were able to raise more than 4000 foot soldiers, including around 1000 archers, and about 500 horses. The soldiers were mostly armed with swords and spears and oaken shields, while their armor was mostly chain. Today, the total number of soldiers ready for call-ups has risen only slightly, but the number of horses that can be provided has risen significantly, with almost half the regiment’s men can be equipped with horses if need be. The quality of weapons and armor has also become significantly better.